Call of Duty Is Ignoring Zombies and That Needs to Change
One of the biggest tragedies in video games is happening right now and no one is talking about it: the lack of Zombies in the Call of Duty franchise. The series is intrinsically tied to its Call of Duty Zombies modes, but there hasn’t been a new one for a long time.
Call of Duty Zombies Is Being Ignored Right Now
It largely seems like Call of Duty Zombies is being ignored right now by Activision and the various development teams that work on the annualized franchise. Except Treyarch (who pioneered the horror wave-based mode), the other teams are failing Zombies without a doubt.
This is unfortunate given that just about every developer at Activision who has worked on the Call of Duty series ensured at one point or another that there would be a Zombies mode available. And that same thing isn’t happening at all right now in the series.
Sure, there would be games that would come and go (even recently) without a Zombies mode, but it hasn’t been this long or done in such an egregious manner as now. The worst part is that the Call of Duty Zombies modes are a massive part of the legacy of the series.
If I can get personal for a moment, I would honestly say that Zombies is the one thing that has been at the heart of my Call of Duty experience for many years. I’m sure many others feel the same. I would play the singleplayer story (if there was one) and then never pick it up again.
From there, it would be an interesting balance of traditional multiplayer and Zombies. Those were the two parts that stuck with me for a long time until battle royale came out and joined them. Though I love Call of Duty multiplayer (most of the time), my fondest memories are with Zombies.
I could go into story after story, but the most important one was only a couple of years ago of playing Zombies with my coworker’s nephew, who she had guardianship over, and I would babysit once or twice a week. We would play that nonstop for hours until they came home. It was a precious time that I miss. Without new Zombies modes, it is easy for players these days to miss out on awesome moments like these with family and friends, too.
The Latest Zombies Mode Is From 2018
After all, the last Call of Duty Zombies game mode was released with Black Ops 4 in 2018. The Zombies mode in that game was pretty good and certainly passable. It wasn’t the best, but it did the job, much like the rest of that game in all honesty.
And it would have even been finer if that wasn’t the last Zombies mode to come out at this point, but that isn’t the case. Since then, we have had a single Zombies mode (more on it in a bit) that itself was somewhat mixed to the point where we can’t even play it right now.
If you are looking to play Call of Duty Zombies in 2020 (at the time of writing this post), your latest effort is the Zombies mode in Black Ops 4; a 2018 game that is nearly two years old right now. It isn’t unusual for a Call of Duty game not to have Zombies as Infinity Ward games have done that in the past, but it is disappointing given the current state of the franchise.
Call of Duty Is at Its Peak of Games, But Zombies Is Still Missing
I would honestly say that the Call of Duty series is at its peak in its history, which only makes the whole situation much worse. I will be the first to admit that Modern Warfare isn’t the greatest Call of Duty game ever made, but neither is it close to being the worst.
The multiplayer has issues, sure, but the story is good, the maps are mostly pretty great, the gameplay feels good even if the weapon balance is so strange, and there are so many game modes to play. But just this game alone isn’t why I think Call of Duty has reached its peak.
It has finally ballooned past the point of just a single annualized game every year. We now have high-quality spin-off games that players can enjoy on nearly every modern gaming platform out there except Switch, but that is a tale for another time.
Instead of just limiting players to the usual PS4, Xbox One, and PC trifecta, players can jump on Android and iOS and start playing Call of Duty Mobile. Activision has created a console-like Call of Duty experience entirely on mobile, with multiplayer and battle royale.
And then if you are on console or PC and get tired of the usual stuff that Modern Warfare has, you can hop on Warzone and play some battle royale. Not only does Call of Duty Mobile dominate the mobile market as perhaps the best game on there, but Warzone is a shining example of one of the best battle royale games right now.
Because of how Activision is ensuring that Call of Duty is taking over the world and nearly every platform right now, it is easy for me to say that the series has truly reached its peak at this point. While this sounds great, it is soured by the realization that this happened with Zombies left behind in the process.
While multiplayer, battle royale, story, and platforms are celebrating their huge successes and Activision is raking in the money from each of the three main Call of Duty games, Zombies is the one core feature of the series that is so important but has been left in the dust. This needs to change and this but only one reason why.
Modern Warfare Could Have Had a Zombies Mode
Another reason why this needs to change and makes this whole situation worse at the same time is that Modern Warfare could have had a Zombies mode. We covered this recently, but an artist for the 2019 game revealed that concept art and a general idea for a Zombies mode was brought up.
It likely didn’t last long in the development process. Still, the idea was interesting enough to show the character with two robot companions who themselves have taken some zombies as their guardians a la Michonne from The Walking Dead.
Even if the Zombies mode didn’t turn out anything like that idea, the simple fact that we almost had one in Modern Warfare is unfortunate. It makes sense since the game is truly jam-packed with content from head to toe, but it could have been. That would have rendered this article pointless if it did happen. But the fact remains it didn’t and that Zombies is suffering because of that change and others.
Call of Duty Mobile Could Have Filled the Gap
Another change that has affected Zombies and perhaps even more so than Modern Warfare is Call of Duty Mobile. Remember how I mentioned that technically Black Ops 4 isn’t the newest game to have Zombies? Well, that is true because Call of Duty Mobile had a Zombies mode once.
But that is no longer the case as the mode only stuck around for a brief time before being removed from the game entirely. We haven’t heard anything about it coming back since. The mode was removed to make the quality better and other changes, but those changes are still being implemented.
I played a bit of the Call of Duty Mobile Zombies mode when it was out. From what I played, it seemed pretty good to me. If anything, the necessary changes seemed minor enough that it would only take a couple of months or so to fix, but then this whole pandemic situation happened.
That is understandable, so it isn’t the worst thing in the world that Call of Duty Mobile hasn’t brought back Zombies. The problem isn’t the development time, but we haven’t heard anything about the status of the mobile Zombies mode.
At the very least, a quick update that the game mode is still being worked on and that it will take a couple more months or whatever would be nice. But we don’t even have that, which again, shows that Zombies is being largely ignored in a rather unfortunate manner.
How to Change This: Call of Duty 2020
But not all of this post is going to be bad news, as I do think that the Call of Duty Zombies situation is going to change in the future and very soon. Until then, though, there are a few ways that this could happen, and each would alleviate most of the problems.
The first is with the next mainline Call of Duty game set to come out this year. Let’s face it: we already know that the next game, likely Call of Duty: Black Ops reboot, will have Zombies; that is a given. Treyarch is rumored to be working on it, so I do not doubt Zombies being there.
The problem is that this game still hasn’t been announced and is scheduled to come out in only a few months. This is unprecedented and rather concerning for the game. What could be cut from the game to ensure that it will release on time?
If the singleplayer story is something that can’t be cut like in Black Ops 4, then what will be? It certainly won’t be multiplayer, so there is a chance that Zombies would be cut or delayed. This would be a problem, and if there were the case, I would honestly prefer the game to be delayed as a whole until it can be implemented.
This is because another scenario could happen where everything is there, including Zombies, but most, if not all, of the game modes, are watered down or bad because of the rushed time. This situation could change with the next Call of Duty game, but it needs to be done in a quality way even if that means a delay for the first time.
How to Change This: Call of Duty Mobile Zombies
Another way that this could all change is with Call of Duty Mobile Zombies. It would be great to see this game mode come back soon as it would offer players a new way to play the fan-favorite game mode every day and even on the go if they would like.
Call of Duty Mobile is an excellent game and an important part of the series now. It is excelling at battle royale and multiplayer, so it would be nice to see it offer Android and iOS users Zombies. This way, it covers all of its bases and truly is the permanent representation of the series on mobile.
Of course, there is the problem here that some players on console and PC won’t want to resort to a mobile game for their Zombies fix, and that isn’t necessarily fixed with this problem. That’s why I have come up with a third and final option to fix all of these issues.
How to Change This: Standalone Zombies Game
The final idea that I have for how this could change is by creating a permanent standalone Zombies game, similar to what Activision has already done with Call of Duty Warzone. That game is a standalone title that will go across generations and games to be the core battle royale experience from here on out.
The same could be done with a Zombies game, perhaps as part of the Warzone experience or its standalone free-to-play title. This would save Treyarch and other teams sometime every year developing Zombies as it would already have its own core experience available.
Then there could be a smaller team dedicated solely to it like Warzone and making changes every season and year to update the game to be compatible with the new annualized title on consoles and PC.
There could be different seasons with different characters, Easter eggs, and stories to experience on various maps. It could grow over time and pay homage to past Zombies with updated versions of older maps from previous games. This would be a great move from Activision and one that would ensure that we don’t have a situation like right now again.